Gee Mail: A note to the graduating self

Gee Mail: A note to the graduating self

Ladies and gentlemen, we are embarking on
a special time of year, the time of Commencement. At West Virginia University, we are graduating more than 4,500 students. Commencement marks a time of transition a time of passage, celebration, achievement,
and of course opportunity. It is also a time of reflection. For me, I cannot help but think back to 1968 when I graduated with a history degree from
the University of Utah. So for this Gee Mail, I thought, ‘What advice would I write to my 21-year-old self that
would benefit our class of 2017? Dear Gordon, A rite of passage awaits. You have just endured and conquered an academic and social decathlon. Soon you will cross that finish line and latch onto your reward, your degree. But do not be fooled by that finish line. For you cannot stop. Your purpose is a moving target. And that degree is only symbolic. In fact, it is just a piece of paper. Worth no more than the paper I am writing
on. What is of great value are the relationships and friendships you build, the personal passions
you pursue and the knowledge you will gain with each new experience, each helping
you become a better version of yourself. Always keep the same grit that drove you to crush that final exam and pull those all-nighters
at the library. Always admit your mistakes and do your best to correct them. Thank your mentors and become a mentor to others. Always stay true to yourself, never hang
up those bow ties. Think beyond your own needs. Great rewards come from serving others. My friend, you barely knew anyone or anything when you first came here. And as you embark on the next leg of your journey, you may feel that way again. The faces may change and the places may differ. Just remember this: What got you to Commencement
will get you to your next destination. Go as far as your dreams will take you. Sincerely, Me!


  1. " Go as far as your dreams will take you" Special words, special president! Proud to be a Mountaineer! (1969, 1971).

  2. What a wonderful person to lead the great WV university. As an Alum, I am so proud to tell everyone I meet that I am a graduate of WVU with two degrees. Thank you President Gee.

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